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Ghee – what is it & how do you make it?

Ghee – what is it & how do you make it?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:42

Ghee is clarified butter. Although it is prepared completely from butter, its properties, according to Ayurveda, are very different from butter itself.

In many cases, ghee is recommended to be used in the diet. Even though ghee is understood not to raise cholesterol levels, if you have a cholesterol problem, check with your doctor / consultant before using ghee. If this has been recommended for you, you may either purchase ghee – consult whoever prescribed it for you as most commercial ghee is not very good. Home made ghee is always much better.

There are two ways to prepare the ghee yourself:

1. OVEN METHOD

Put 2-4 packets of butter in a casserole dish, put in the oven and set timer for 40 mins at 90 degrees. (You can set at over 100 degrees if you want to) It will separate into oil on top and a white watery milky mix of solids.
Pour off most of the ghee into jars, then put the casserole dish in the fridge when it has cooled a little.
The remaining ghee sitting on the white liquid will set hard, and can be lifted off (and washed clean if needed).
Note: If you set the oven to 90 degrees, the ghee gently rises to the top, and will float above all the water, salt (if salted butter), and milk proteins. Clear pure ghee is the result and can be poured off. It is a set and forget method.

However, if you set it over 100 degrees, and don’t watch it closely, the water eventually will start to boil thru the ghee (and carry everything else with it), and the resulting ghee will be noticeably not as clear and pure.

2. TRADITIONAL METHOD

Place 1 or more pounds (3-4 bars) of unsalted butter in a deep stainless steel or Pyrex type glass pan on medium or medium low heat. (Watch to make sure that butter doesn’t scorch while melting).
In the next 30-40 minutes the water will boil away (approximately 20% of the butter is composed of water) Milk solids will appear on the surface of the liquid and also at the bottom of the pan. Scoop away the frothy substance that forms on the surface.
Be alert to remove liquid from the heat as milk solids turn golden brown on the bottom of the pan – otherwise, the ghee may burn. At this point you may notice that the ghee becomes a clear liquid and may smells like popcorn. You may also notice tiny bubbles in the ghee rising from the bottom.
Strain sediment for ghee while hot, pouring it into a stainless steel or Pyrex-type pan. Strain by pouring through a cotton cloth placed over a stainless steel strainer. At this point it is very hot, so you should always be cautious.
Ghee can be stored at room temperature. Later if ghee becomes solid due to being cool, just heat it slightly and it will return to liquid.
Note: Caution should always be observed when handling hot liquids. Ghee should never be left unattended during this heating process. Butter is best without salt or culture.

Recommended butters: Mrs Marsh (green packaging), Kirks, Allowrie, Good organic brands

Mark Bunn

Mark Bunn – is a leading natural health researcher specialising in Ayurvedic medicine, author of the three-time best-selling ‘Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health‘ and one of Australasia's most popular health and performance speakers